A prominent Philadelphia medical facility has been hit with a federal civil
complaint by a former food service worker who claims he was terminated from his position in retaliation for taking medical leave to treat certain health conditions from which he suffered.
Jamar Moore, who lives in Philadelphia, filed a civil action in U.S. District Court on Oct. 17 against The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia over claims that he was fired from his job in early July of last year in retaliation for asserting his right to take federally approved leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Moore, who was first hired by the defendant in 2000 as a full-time employee, had been diagnosed in 2009 as having chronic sleep apnea and gerd, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The plaintiff’s medical conditions allegedly caused him to suffer from episodes of chest pain, severe shortness of breath and wheezing.
The health issues also caused Moore to be periodically absent from work, the lawsuit states.
As a result of his medical conditions, the complaint states, Moore applied for and was approved for intermittent leave under the FMLA in 2007.
In response to a request for a similar leave four years later, the hospital asked Moore to provide a doctor’s note regarding the man’s need to take time off from work.
The plaintiff ended up taking off from work on about eight occasions from March 2012 through June 2012 to deal with his medical conditions, the suit states.
On June 11 of that year, Moore received a warning for absenteeism, with the defendant claiming that since Moore hadn’t provided the proper doctor’s certification that it had previously asked for, the leave was not protected by the FMLA.
The plaintiff alleges he was told otherwise.
Moore subsequently provided a physician’s note confirming the plaintiff’s ongoing need for intermittent FMLA-leave due to his medical condition, the complaint states, but the hospital refused to retroactively designate Moore’s previous absences as FMLA-protected.
The hospital then fired Moore over his absences on July 6, 2012, the suit states.
The hospital is accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
The plaintiff seeks to have Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia prohibited from continuing its illegal policy of discriminating against employees based on disabilities.
Moore also seeks lost and future earnings, unspecified punitive damages, damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering, and costs and legal fees.
The lawsuit was filed at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by lawyers Manali Arora and Richard Swartz of the New Jersey firm Swartz Swidler LLC.
The federal case number is 2:13-cv-06052-WY.